Fossil Ecosystems of North America: A Guide to the Sites and their Extraordinary Biotas, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Fossil Ecosystems of North America

A Guide to the Sites and their Extraordinary Biotas, 1st Edition

By Paul Selden, John Nudds

CRC Press

288 pages | 301 Color Illus.

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pub: 2008-03-20
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Most major recent advances in understanding the history of life on Earth have been through the study of exceptionally well preserved biotas (Fossil-Lagerstätten). These are windows on the history of life on Earth and can provide a fairly complete picture of the evolution of ecosystems through time. This book follows the success of Evolution of Fossil Ecosystems by the same authors which covered Fossil-Lagerstätten around the world. The success of the first book prompted this new book which draws on four localities from the original book and adds another ten, all located in North America.

Following an introduction to Fossil-Lagerstätten, each chapter deals with a single fossil locality. Each chapter contains a brief introduction placing the Lagerstätte in an evolutionary context; there then follows a history of study of the locality; the background sedimentology, stratigraphy and palaeoenvironment; a description of the biota; discussion of the palaeoecology, and a comparison with other Lagerstätten of a similar age and/or environment. At the end of the book is an Appendix listing museums in which to see exhibitions of fossils from each locality and suggestions for visiting the sites.


Recommended to all palaeontologists as a very enjoyable and well illustrated guide to sites.

The Geological Magazine

An outstanding publication.


An excellent introduction for undergraduates…astonishingly good value for money…delightful.

The Palaeontological Association Newsletter

Table of Contents

The Gunflint Chert

Mistaken Point

Burgess Shale

Beecher’s Triolbite Bed

The Bertie Waterlime


Mazon Creek

The Chinle Group

The Morrison Formation

The Hell Creek Formation

The Green River Formation


Dominican Amber

Rancho La Brea

Appendix: Museums and Site Visits

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geology
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / General